This upcoming week is the one many anglers in Grays Harbor have been looking forward to for quite some time.
October 1 is the official opening of most Grays Harbor rivers to salmon fishing for the fall 2012-13 season. The big question is whether the salmon know this information.
Any productivity, in terms of salmon fishing in local rivers, is directly related to water levels. Our extremely dry weather, as of late, has made a major impact on this part of the equation. Anyone who has engaged this fishery over time would know it takes much higher water levels in our rivers than what we have been experiencing to move salmon upstream. So for now, anglers may find these fish stacking up in the lower regions of local rivers awaiting some rain. When it happens, these fish will be on the move very rapidly.
Assuredly, the rivers will be extremely crowded since there is limited room to accommodate large numbers of eager anglers. The tide water in this portion of our rivers will tend to move fish in and out, all the while trapping some in various holes. This pattern will occur daily until significant rain comes to change the scenario.
In the meantime, anglers fishing from the bank will find easy access at Morrison Park in Aberdeen. For years, this has been an overlooked opportunity, but in recent time, anglers have discovered there are fresh salmon lurking the banks of the Chehalis River. Actually, salmon travel the sides of the river before they engage the heavy current of the middle portion of the river.
Again, as the tide moves in and out, anglers can expect to see fresh salmon moving in close proximity. This activity will continue the better part of the entire season since the Chehalis River is the main passageway feeding the Wynooche and Satsop rivers and its own productivity. The incoming tide will bring in salt water, which helps to preserve the freshness of the fish as well.
Now, anglers may connect with the late push of summer run steelhead on the Wynooche River as well. This is the opportune time frame for these fish. It is also the case that steelhead are not as controlled by water levels. They will sneak up the rivers at night and choose acceptable cover for the day in holes or wherever they feel safe. On the other hand, they too prefer sufficient water; so the majority of these fish will likely be in the lower third of the river.
Fishing for these fish is going to require some savvy presentations. The low and clear water conditions will put these fish on high alert when things look suspicious to them.
Anglers can also expect to find some jack salmon higher up on our rivers. These smaller and early salmon arrivers will invade holes where their larger adult counterparts have not yet chosen to occupy for obvious reasons.
All in all, anglers can now expect to put their river fishing skills to the test as we find ourselves on the verge of the fall and winter fisheries.